Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
From The Screwtape Letters, referring to Christ:
He’s a hedonist at heart. All those fasts and vigils and stakes and crosses are only a facade. Or only like foam on the seashore. Out at sea, out in His sea, there is pleasure, and more pleasure. He makes no secret of it; at His right hand are ‘pleasures for evermore’. Ugh! I don’t think he has the least inkling of that high and austere mystery to which we rise in the Miserific Vision. He’s vulgar, Wormwood. He has a bourgeois mind. He has filled His world full of pleasures. There are things for humans to do all day long without His minding in the least — sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, making love, playing, praying, working. Everything has to be twisted before it’s any use to us. We fight under the cruel disadvantages. Nothing is naturally on our side.
Friday, March 27, 2009
"It happens sometimes that the Lord himself moves our souls and forces us, as it were, to this or that particular action by laying our souls wide open. This means that he begins to speak in the very depths of our being, without any clamour of words, he enraptures the soul completely into his love and bestows upon us an awareness of himself so that, even if we wished, we should be unable to resist."
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now I guess I'll have to.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
"A Christian person, in the full sense of what Ignatius was aiming at in the Spiritual Exercises, is one who has overcome the pernicious schizophrenia between soul and body, brain and heart, and thus become fully reintegrated--one who by means of prayer and assimilation to the incarnate Word has put right the 'ill-ordered attachments' of his soul and 'set his life in order'."
--Hugo Rahner, SJ
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Through it's longing for Christ, whom it desires to breathe in as the Word inviting us to the enjoyment of full union, it receives a spiritual sense of smell, so that it may walk in the fragrance of Christ's ointments: and thus Christ is its life. And finally, through the love which binds it to Christ the incarnate Word, it receives straight from him, even during this earthly pilgrimage, a sense of taste which enables it to taste how sweet the Lord is. And by embracing him in that pure love which transforms its very being, it receives a spiritual sense of touch."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
(Itinerarium mentis in Deum cf. 4)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
(Confessions, X, 27)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
(Confessions, X, 6)
Monday, March 16, 2009
The most current read is the 3rd in Christopher Paolini's Eragon series (titled Brisingr), at the center of which is the relationship between dragon (Saphira) and rider (Eragon). The following is a passage describing a reunion between these two:
"Redoubling his speed, Eragon opened his mind to Saphira, removing every barrier around who he was, so that they might join together without reservation. Like a flood of warm water, her consciousness rushed into him, even as his rushed into her. Eragon gasped and tripped and nearly fell. They enveloped each other within the folds of their thoughts, holding each other with an intimacy no physical embrace could replicate, allowing their identities to merge once again. Their greatest comfort was a simple one: they were no longer alone. To know that you were with one who cared for you, and who understood every fiber of your being, and who would not abandon you in even the most desperate of circumstances, that was the most precious relationship a person could have, and both Eragon and Saphira cherished it."
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
From The Life of Moses:
And so every desire for the Beautiful which draws us on in this ascent is intensified by the soul’s very progress towards it. And this is the real meaning of seeing God: never to have this desire satisfied. But fixing our eyes on those things which help us to see, we must ever keep alive in us the desire to see more and more. And so no limit can be set to our progress towards God: first of all, because no limitation can be put on upon the Beautiful, and secondly because the increase in our desire for the Beautiful cannot be stopped by any sense of satisfaction.
--St. Gregory of Nyssa
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
My mind went again to the sinful women who came to the house of the leper in order to bathe Jesus' feet with her tears. The Gospels speak of no other person having such intimate contact with Him.
I so identify with this woman, this sinful one, this sensualist. I wonder if her sensuality, like David's, gave her special entree to God's heart. Does He especially love those who incarnate love, albeit rashly?
As I prayed, I wondered.
I wondered if it is possible for we created ones to give God Himself ideas for expressing love. Jesus accepted her lavishing and praised it, then went on to wash the feet of His twelve.
Could she have been the inspiration?
Was she the model He followed?
I am so blessed by the Father you have sent my congregation. Yesterday, when he knew that I would be coming to spend time in the sanctuary in grief and supplication, he prepared it for me. He lit candles, incensed it with the prayers of the saints, and filled it with Vivaldi's violins singing the seasons.
Our tabernacle is set in the wall behind the altar, fronted with a wooden door that is carved and gilded with chalice and host. I spent an hour immediately before it, my face pressed against the wood as the tears flowed.
The sorrowful mysteries brought great peace, as did a MacDonald passage he later read to me.
I left better prepared.
It was a great gift to have such care taken over me.
A great gift.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
It appears that this year's Lenten torture may be revelation about the ways in which I make a poor wife. The completion of which rests on my shoulders to seek out.
To say that I am not looking forward to it is an understatement.
However, this morning's devotional reading delivered Jeremiah 1:11-19, with commentary that included:
"If God reveals something to you, ask for his wisdom to know how to deliver the message. Be assured of his strong protection as you go on his errand."
And so I am in prayer, asking for His wisdom, and thanking Him for His protection.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
"So why aren't you Roman Catholic?"
Luckily the answer came while making dinner last night: my current church is my mission field.
From within it I am helping repair the reformation rift, by equipping others to restore the beauty of the sacraments to the church from which they have been stolen.
It is a good answer. I am content.
I'm an obnoxious little teacher's pet who I would imagine is easy to hate.
In the face of this reality, it is a comfort to remember that He told me I am David, and like David, I am after God's heart.
I am -after- it.
I am filled with zeal for my Father's house. His teaching is my delight.
And I pray that my striving is pleasing to Him who I do so hope to please.